BioSpain 2012 seeks to become the world’s fourth-largest business development event

  • The sixth edition of BioSpain, to be held in Bilbao from 19 to 21 September, will have double the capacity of the 2010 event, providing space for up to 4,000 one-to-one meetings
  • The trade exhibition area will increase by 50%
  • Organisation of the event by the Basque Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, via the Society for Competitive Transformation (SPRI), reflects the industry’s economic importance in the region

The sixth edition of BioSpain, to be held from 19 to 21 September in Bilbao and co-organised by ASEBIO and the Basque Government, aims to become the fourth-largest event worldwide for business development and partnering in terms of the number of one-to-one meetings. This year the meeting area has doubled (to 500 square metres), providing space for up to 4,000 encounters (compared with almost 2,200 at the previous edition). As a result, BioSpain 2012 may take the lead over Biopartnering Europe, Bio-Pharm America and Biopartnering North America, surpassed only by BIO Con-vention (21,000 meetings), Bio-Europe (14,700), and Bio-Europe Spring (11,172).

The trade exhibition space at BioSpain 2012 will be 35% larger, accommodating 10% more exhibitors than in 2010. Occupancy already stands at 90%, based on reservations from over 125 exhibitors.This year’s guest country is Great Britain, which will send a delegation of companies and participate in the breakout sessions. Internationalisation is one of the priorities of BioSpain 2012, following achievements in this area at the previous event. Companies from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and Portugal, among others, have already confirmed their participation. The main countries represented at BioSpain 2010, in terms of the number of companies, were Spain (77%), France (5%), the UK (3.5%), the US (3%) and Germany (2%). A total of 25 countries were represented at the event.

The Investment Forum will have two parts. The traditional segment deals with the entire sector and 32 projects have already been submitted, to be evaluat-ed by a panel of Spanish and international investors. In the innovative seg-ment, BioSpain 2012 will host BIOCHEM, an investment forum focused on industrial biotechnology organised by Feique and Madrid Biocluster, on 20 and 21 September.

The BioSpain 2012 breakout sessions will address key issues including regen-erative medicine, biomaterials, nanomedicine, biomedical engineering, per-sonalised medicine, rare diseases, more sustainable ways of producing re-newable energies, food innovation, technology transfer, sustainable agricul-ture, the search for more effective health systems, and innovative public sec-tor procurements.

Organisation of the event by the Basque Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, via the Society for Competitive Transformation (SPRI), reflects the industry’s economic importance for the region and its huge potential for growth in the coming decades. The Basque Government also supports the sector via the BioBasque 2020 strategy.

BioSpain 2012 will be held at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre (BEC), in Barakaldo, which has an exhibition area spanning 150,000m2 across six pavilions and a conference area of 18,000m2. It also has several other spaces, a restaurant, cafeteria, and car park. The size of the venue will allow for the trade expo and partnering events to be held on the same site.

BioSpain combines a trade fair, a conference, and a business forum, plus technology transfer breakout sessions, all with an international dimension. In addition, it includes a partnering event, an investment forum, keynote speeches and breakout sessions on a range of topics with speakers from Spain and other countries, the BIOTEC 2012 scientific congress (organised by the Spanish Society of Biotechnology, SEBiot), and a job fair. BioSpain has become the foremost event for the sector in southern Europe and its partnering process ranked 7th in the world in 2010 in terms of the number of meetings (2,147) and participating companies (641).

The previous edition of the event, BioSpain 2010, was held in Pamplona. A total of 641 companies attended, of which 23% were from outside Spain (55% more than in the previous edition), and there were 134 stands (15% more than in 2008) and 168 exhibitors, of which 29 were from outside Spain (compared with 4 at BioSpain 2008). Attendance totalled 1,300, including staff from biotechnology companies, investors, administrations and research institutions.